Photoshop - I love it. I use v.7, but Adobe is about to release v.10 known as CS3. photoshop does have a learning curve, but it is worth it. Photoshop is a massive program that you only need to know a fraction of to be useful for props building. Spend a few days with it, and you will be up and running. Photoshop is a very expensive program though, however you can find very good deals on ebay, just don't get fooled and buy a pirated disk.

The Gimp - A decent FREE image editor. I recommend the portable edition, you don't have to install it, in fact it's designed to run off a flash drive - too cool.

Lorem Ipsum generator - Creates random text for those wordy generic props.

Work in Culture Job Board - Ontario Canada job board.

Wikipedia - Great for quick research, just don't use it to write a term paper.

Corbis - Awesome photo service site, perfect for period pictures as well as research.

IrfanView - A freeware image viewer for Microsoft Windows that can view, edit, and convert image files and play video/audio formats. It does not have extensive image creation and painting capabilities like Adobe Photoshop or GNU's GIMP. Rather, IrfanView is designed to be a lightweight viewer/player which is noted for its speed, ease of use, and ability to handle a wide variety of graphic file formats, including psd.